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BRISTOL, Conn. — ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar knows soccer on a national and international level. And he is one of the go-to-guys at ESPN covering Major League Soccer. But long before ESPN Salazar knew soccer at Westminster College. He was a star on the men’s soccer team. And he worked at Titan Radio and Westminster Cable. He was Titan Town Sports. Aaron Becker and Peter Andrade give us more on Salazar’s journey from New Wilmington to Bristol, Connecticut.”

Aaron Becker: “Salazar faced some adversity at the beginning of his professional career. And it wasn’t because of his skill. But instead a relationship.”

Sebastian Salazar: “I got fired once and that was pretty dramatic. It was the end of my second job out of school, my contract wasn’t renewed, and the reason was because I didn’t get along with my boss.”

Aaron Becker: “He learned a valuable lesson. But at the worst possible time.”

Sebastian Salazar: “In this industry you’ve got to have a lot of self belief and a lot of perseverance and you’ve got to have a chip on your shoulder, but it can only go so far, and I think I took it too far when I was younger. I lost a job. And I happened to lose a job at the kind of peak of the last recession which of course hit TV News really hard. And I was basically not full time employed for nine months.”

Aaron Becker: “This time helped him grow as a professional. And better shaped him as a person. Then he finally got his second chance. And it just so happened to be with the company he interned with as a college student.”

Sebastian Salazar: “It ended up that the job that I got after all that time out, missing, coming close on so many jobs was a job not in the kind of traditional television that I worked in but in the digital media department of CSN Mid-Atlantic, the network that I both anchored at and interned at.”

Peter Andrade: “Hard work had paid off. But Salazar’s problems were far from over. In a blink of an eye his life was changed.”

Sebastian Salazar: “While I was at CSN Mid-Atlantic, I was diagnosed with Hotchkins Lymphoma. And it was a challenging time in that I was obviously going through some things in my personal life with my health that made going to work tough and just made getting through the weeks kind of tough.”

Peter Andrade: “As hard as things got Salazar never gave up on his dream. It was those around him that helped him keep fighting.”

Sebastian Salazar: “It really taught me in that time how much I enjoyed what I did because for the whole time I was sick I didn’t really miss a day at work, and it was work and the people at work that kind of got me through that.”

Peter Andrade: “Throughout his struggles he realized how much of a passion he had for broadcasting.”

Sebastian Salazar: “I loved what I did, even then, even when I felt terrible and had bad days, I still wanted to go to work. And I’ve never forgotten that, I always know that in many ways this job kind of pulled me through a really tough time, and it also made me appreciative of the opportunities that I have.”

Aaron Becker: “Salazar was gaining some attention in the business from major networks. NBC gave him an opportunity which took him outside of the United States. To Rio…for the Olympics. Where he got to cover the sport he always loved on its biggest stage.”

Sebastian Salazar: “Soccer was always for me really the thing I enjoyed the most and connected the most with, especially when I got to cover it at the professional level. So when I went down to Rio and I was immersed in a world where all I was doing and talking about and covering for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for almost a month straight was just soccer and a really high level of it that a lot of people were really into because that women’s team this summer, this past summer, had a lot of buzz around it, it was awesome.”

Peter Andrade: “Everyone has a dream job. But Salazar never thought his existed. Until he was proposed it.”

Sebastian Salazar: “When the opportunity to kind of take the jump, not just to ESPN, but to an all soccer or primarily soccer work load was offered to me, it was really an opportunity I had been waiting for. I didn’t know I had been waiting for it until it came and then I was like oh yeah this is obvious, this is where I need to be, this is what I wanted, I just didn’t know it until it popped in front of me. I never thought anybody would offer me that, so I feel really lucky.”

Aaron Becker: “Salazar has never felt better. He has his dream job at ESPN. He’s engaged. And is ready for a family. This has been Sebastian Salazar’s journey from WCN to ESPN. I’m Aaron Becker.”

Peter Andrade: “And I’m Peter Andrade.”

Aaron Becker & Peter Andrade: “For WCN, right here in Titan Town.”

LISTEN TO PART 1 OF OUR INTERVIEW.  CLICK HERE.

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